watts = volts x amps

Our electrician will tell us that watts = volts x amps. This is important when we choose switches, timers or thermostats to control our Multiheat Infrared Panels.

It is easy to fall into the trap that are thermostats are created equal. This is not the case. At Multiheat we take care with this issue and only recommend thermostats that are capable of performing safely with our panels. It is an easy mistake to assume that the simple wall mounted thermostat often use to control central heating will work with our panels. These thermostats are generally only rated at about 1.5 amps so using the above formula and assuming mains voltage to be 230 volts these will only safely switch a load of 345 watts so would only safely work with our 250 watt panel.

What we need to do is add together all the wattages of the panels we wish to control from a single thermostat or timer and divide by 230 to give us the require current rating in amps.

Therefore 3 of our 850 watt panels connected together will equal 2550 watts, divided by 230 equals about 11 amps so we need to choose a thermostat with at least that rating.

Please get in touch if you need more details.

Posted in General, Infrared Heating | Tagged amps, thermostats, volts, watts

Wind turbines are falling over!

Wind turbines are falling over!

I live very close to Bradworthy in North Devon where a wind turbine recently fell over!

In fact I used to be able to see it from my back garden!

You can find out more about the original story here on the BBC website!

I still stand by my earlier blog that North Devon (including Torridge) are in danger of allowing far too many of these turbines to be dotted around the countryside & therefore ruining the whole county/area.

Despite being a very rural part of the world it is very difficult to find a spot where the wind turbines are more than a kilometre away from a residential house, and the more that go up the more there is a statistical chance that something awful could go wrong.

This latest article from the BBC – here – tells us that wind turbines are safe despite two of them collapsing in the South West in the space of a week, a representative of the industry has insisted. We are told that incidents like this are rare, but as more and more turbines go up, the incidents will become more & more common – statistically!

Let’s be sensible and have fewer large ones, particularly ones that don’t fall over!


Posted in Renewables | Tagged wind, wind turbines

‘Energy efficiency’ Green Deal launched by government

Looking for something to inspire my blog writing today, I came across this article on the BBC website – Energy efficiency’ Green Deal launched by government – and the bit that caught my eye was this excerpt:-

The costs

Consumers taking out Green Deal loans will have to repay them at a maximum rate of 6.92%, according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Compared to a standard home loan rate, that is relatively high.

On top of the loan, householders will have to pay a £63 set-up charge, and a £20 a year annual fee.

On a loan of £5,000, the overall rate that is repayable is just under 8% over 10 years, or 7.7% over 25 years.

The government argues that such rates are comparable to the best High Street rates for long-term unsecured loans.

The amount that anyone can borrow will be capped at £10,000.

Later on in the article it said :- But he acknowledges that in some cases, the cost of the loan could be more expensive than the savings gained.

So, would you want to take the risk?

At least with solar PV systems the pay back is still around 8 years – that is when you invest in a PV system the money that you use to install is paid back with 8 years. If you can afford to install such a system you can get a better rate than leaving your money in the bank and it carries on for 25 years so you can make some reasonable money.

Not so with this deal, you may make money but you may not, you pay a high rate of interest (remember that the Bank of England rate is still 0.5% at the time of writing) and when you come to sell your house, what happens then – you sell the house with debt attached – not a good solution methinks – what do you think?

Posted in General

Can infrared heaters provide heat for hot yoga by themselves?

Can infrared heaters provide heat for hot yoga by themselves?

Well actually no!

The following is a basic specification on what may be required for hot yoga put together from information from a number of sources. We appreciate that no two existing buildings are ever the same and insulation levels are a crucial element  but this is a ‘broad’ idea:

Heat: Up to 35 degrees C, with an easy ability / control to adjust the temperature when needed. Typical ‘background’ heating should be capable of heating the room to 22 degrees C. The IR panels can then take this to the required 32-35 deg C . It is not appropriate to attempt to use IR panels alone to achieve this temperature.

Humidity: We understand that comparable studios in the US maintain humidity levels between 45% and 65%. We expect it to be possible to control the levels of humidity in the studio.

Air movement, fresh air in: It is important to ensure that occupants receive sufficient volumes of fresh air coming and that the air does not become stale – in other words, there needs to be plenty of fresh air and good air circulation within the studio. We understand that comparable studios use a variety of methods (fans, air ducts / pumps). The fresh air coming in needs to be warm air!

Infrared: We have found that about 150 watts per square metre is required instead of the ‘normal’ 50 watts as mentioned else on our website. Thus for a room of 24 m2 you would need about 3,600 watts which could be achieved with 6 of our  600 watt panels distributed evenly around the ceiling, Ideal ceiling height is in the range of 2.3 to 2.8 metres.

The above is based on achieving 32-35 deg C.

I hope the above is of interest but please let us know if you need further details.


Posted in Infrared Heating | Tagged for, hot yoga, infrared heating

Can you paint our standard white panels?

This is a question that we get asked quite frequently. To be honest we have said no in the past as the efficiency of the panel will be impaired, but with the soon to be introduction of “picture” panels it was a question we thought we would ask the manufacturer.

His response surprised us…pleasantly…and here it is:-

In general you can also paint the panels (also your clients can), the main issue is that you have to use good quality paint or lacquer. This paint has to be heat resistant, but normally they will know at local paint/lacquer stores.

Efficiency will be of course influenced by this additional layer on the front side of the panel, but this is 2-3% and normally you cannot recognize this decrease.

We use ink for printing which is similar to car prints – paint supplier told us, that they use this paint also for cars because when car is in the sun, the surface of the car will also become very hot. I do not know the exact specifications of our ink, but normally you should get good advises from a local company selling ink/paint/lacquer – just tell them you need for metallic surface which becomes hot.

So, now you know & in future our answer will be yes!

Posted in Infrared Heating | Tagged infrared, painting, panels

Is white the colour?

Our main product is white, it is a nice white, a sort of matt finish on a carbon fibre material.

The best place to put one of our panels is in the ceiling – what, I hear you say, how can you put a heater in the ceiling, surely hot air rises?

You would of course be right, hot air does rise, but infrared is part of the light spectrum, you need to bask your room in light, albeit invisible light so that the whole room gets the benefit – you would expect to see your lights in the ceiling or at least high on the walls so that when the room gets gloomy all of the room gets brightened up, and so with infrared heaters.

Now, most people have white ceilings, so a white panel is perfect for blending into background. Yes, for sure the first few times you go into the room you will look up and see them in the ceiling but after a time you’ll just forget they are there!

So, white panels, white ceilings!

Posted in Infrared Heating | Tagged infrared heating, white ceiling, white panels

50w per square metre!

I was talking to someone the other day and they asked me to quote them to heat up a 33 cubic metre room. After all, it is the air that needs heating up in a room isn’t it?

Convector heating systems (including radiators in a room) heat the air in the room, the warm air rises and the cooler air falls to be heated up and rises again creating a flow of warm air around the room. It is this feeling of being surrounded by warm air that will make us all feel warm in that environment.

So, using traditional convector heaters to work up what power/energy that you need to warm the room you need the volume or cubic metres of space that need to be heated!

Infrared heating though works very differently, it actually heats up the objects in the room. The panels are at their most efficient when fixed upon the ceiling and the infrared rays (an invisible part of the light spectrum) will cover the floor area and provide warmth! The floor, the walls and the objects in the room will absorb this heat and gently radiate it back into the room, thereby heating everything around it, including the air, creating that cosy all round feeling of warmth!

Therefore, when we calculate how much power/energy is required to heat a room, we only need the square metre dimensions as it is the amount of floor area that the panels can reach that is the consideration, not the cubic area!

As a very general rule and as a guide we estimate that a fairly well insulated room with double glazed windows and an internal door will require about 50 watts per square metre of floor space to to provide the right amount of heat. Therefore assuming a rectangular room with dimensions of 4 metres by 3 metres has 12 square metres of floor space then 600w of power/energy are required to heat this room.

If insulation is poor then the amount of watts required will increase. A similar sized room with a large single glazed window in may well need 80 watts per square metre, and if very well insulated then maybe only 40w per square metres will be required.

Of course, just give us the information and we will be happy to work this all out for you!

Posted in Infrared Heating | Tagged infrared heating, measurements, room, watts required

The modern home contained an average of 41 devices…

I read on the BBC news website today – full article can be found here :-


..that the modern home has 41 electrical appliances compared with a dozen or so in the 1970s. These 41 devices are the standard fridge, freezer, washing machine, TV etc…, but no doubt include more than one TV, a DVD player, a set top box for digital, radios, music as well as computers and mobile phones, quite a list, and according to the same article nearly 16% of your electricity bill is spent on devices that are left on stand-by!

That’s a lot of electricity!

One of the things that we promote is the Vphase unit that reduces the voltage in your house down to 220v from the standard 240v, a great way to cut your electricity costs without having to change your lifestyle, but of course if you would only actually turn off your TV, your computer screen, your mobile phone charge, and remember to turn off the lights when you leave a room, think how much electricity you could save without even buying something that can save you electricity.

There we were thinking that we need more capacity in the electric grid, more power stations, more wind farms, more solar PV, and actually we’re out there using more & more electricity in quite a wasteful way, and all we need to do is turn things off!

What are you going to turn off today?

Posted in General, VPhase | Tagged devices, electricity, saving

The magic of far infrared!

I was at a networking event last night, where I was manning a stand for the North Devon Business Alliance (NDBA), when someone who I know quite well asked me how business was. They knew me in my other guise as  a QuickBooks advisor over at K & V Associates and so I explained to them that I had set up this little company called Multiheat – yes, that is us right here & no link required – and mentioned that I was marketing infrared heating panels, and the immediate question was, how much light do they give off.

Yes, many people remember the infrared heaters that can still be seen warming up warehouses and garden patios and yes, these heaters give that orange glow that provide quite a bit of light, but the magic of our heaters is that they give off no light whatsoever.

The far infrared end of the spectrum is by far the more efficient end and all of the energy put into the panels comes out as the warmth giving infrared with no energy wasted in giving off light as well. That is what happens at the near infrared part of the spectrum.

The heat given off is a lot gentler as well, the fierceness of those patio heaters can be quite overwhelming at times, and are ideal for warming up your home, office or garden room amongst other places!

Posted in Infrared Heating | Tagged far infrared, infrared, no light

Banks – please provide a decent service!

A quick rant!

I want to make a payment to an overseas supplier!

I have to go into my local branch because the bank I use won’t let me do it online – when I say won’t I probably mean can’t!

I have a client who I do a lot of work for and I can make payments from their bank online to absolutely anywhere in the world, so I know it is possible, so why can’t my bank!

Apathy sets in because trying to open up a bank account with another bank is such a minefield & a boringly long process!

So, come on Barclays – get you blooming act together!


PS: 18th June 2012 – To be fair to Barclays, their site was down for maintenance and once it was up and running a transfer to Sweden was actually very easy, so well done Barclays – you still need to get your act together when you decide to take your site down for maintenance, like tell the customer so that we don’t rant!

Posted in General | Tagged banking, barclays, fail, services